International Center for Environmental
Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas
International EMECS Center

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Our Goal to preserve beautiful nature for the next generation


Bays, inland seas, archipelagos and other ocean areas that are substantially closed off by land regions have outstanding natural attributes that have caused them to become centers for fishing, industry, maritime transport and recreation since ancient times. These regions have nurtured a variety of cultures and have ensured rich and fulfilling lives for their inhabitants. Ensuring that the bounties of these enclosed coastal seas, which are a treasure for all of humanity, are passed on to future generations in the next century is a tremendous responsibility.
Accordingly, the International EMECS Center was established in November 1994 in Kobe Japan through the cooperation of concerned persons and organizations. Its purpose is to create new prospects for the preservation of the environments of the Seto Inland Sea and other enclosed coastal seas throughout the world.


since its establishment, the Center has sponsored the Third International Conference on the Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas (EMECS) in Stockholm, Sweden (August 1997) and the Fourth EMECS conference in Antalya, Turkey in November 1999. The Center issues newsletters and has been building a database to gather and make available general information pertaining to the environmental management of enclosed coastal seas. It also conducts training in environmental management techniques and holds a course on environmental conservation for government officials from developing countries in an effort to train personnel who will be engaged in environmental conservation of coastal seas.
However, although the environment is improving in some enclosed coastal seas throughout the world, in most areas habitat environments are worsening; both species and populations are declining, and ocean catches are diminishing. If these trends continue, enclosed coastal sea environments will continue to deteriorate, and this may even have a major adverse impact on the global environment as a whole. As a result, increasingly there are calls for the Center to implement more aggressive measures, making enhancement of its information-providing and research functions necessary.


It is for these reasons that the International EMECS Center has reorganized as a body that is authorized by the Japanese government in April 2000. The new Center will form a solid base for the creation of an organized network linking governments, researchers, companies, private citizens and other entities for enhanced academic exchanges on an international level, as well as conducting research and training and providing support activities, in order to preserve existing enclosed coastal sea environments and create new ones, and to help establish a society capable of sustainable development in which human beings can coexist with the tremendous diversity of nature.

From the prospectus of the International EMECS Center